A few lone fruit trees and abandoned rock huts hidden by trees and scrub beside the Kawarau River were all that remained to hint at the life of some of the Gibbston Valley’s early characters until local enthusiast Susan Stevens starting uncovering them.

A Gibbston resident and chairwoman of the Gibbston Community Association, Mrs Stevens has been working on the project as part of the Gibbston River Trail and has been clearing the site helped by kayakers and community workers in preparation for an archaeological mapping exercise by the Otago Anthropological Society Otago at Easter.